Late Rally Not Enough For Warrior Womens Soccer

The Waldorf College women’s soccer team rallied late, but the Warriors saw their comeback bid fall short.

Dordt College (1-0) held on for a 3-2 win over Waldorf (0-2) during Saturday’s home opener.

“Dordt definitely came out and played really well,” Waldorf coach Casey Curoe said. “I think you could tell that Dordt wanted it more than we did. That was kind of our downfall for this game.”

The Warriors entered the match coming off one day’s rest following a 3-1 loss to Grand View University (3-0) in Thursday’s season opener at Altoona. Improving during their second outing against Dordt proved to be a challenge.

“We didn’t play up to our expectations,” Curoe said. “It was more of a side-step. I don’t know if it was due to a quick turnaround from the last game.”

Dordt’s Renee Ewald scored the match’s opening goal 31 minutes and 38 seconds into the contest. The Defenders would end the first half with a one-goal advantage.

Natalie Sakuma pushed Dordt’s lead to two goals on an assist from Ewald 17 minutes and 10 seconds into the second half. Tori Mann scored the final goal for the Defenders on an assist from Sakuma at the 76:02 mark.

Sophomore forward Brittney Thornton found the back of the net for the Warriors on an assist from senior midfielder Jennifer Geil less than three minutes later.

A lineup switch provided a boost for Waldorf during the final 10 minutes as senior defender Taylor Earl, freshman defender Leah Eckenrode, sophomore defender Charlotte Madrid and junior forward Stephanie Frias entered the match.

“Those were the girls that kind of picked up the game,” Curoe said. “They brought in new energy to the team.”

The Warriors continued mounting a comeback. Sophomore forward Mia Crail knocked a header into the goal off a corner kick assist from Geil with less than 13 minutes to play.

“We’ve been telling Mia in practice to stay on the goalkeeper and she did,” Curoe said. “I know Mia was pretty excited because that’s what we’ve been working on.”

Dordt finished with seven shots on-goal while attempting 13 shots in the win.

Fifteen of Waldorf’s 25 shots were on-goal. Junior midfielder Cassidy Ogden and Geil each registered three shots on-goal while sophomore midfielder Amy Smeding, senior midfielder Madisen Haines and Crail closed out the match with two shots on-goal apiece.

Senior goalkeeper Kaylee Vitale collected four saves for the Warriors.

Waldorf searches for its first win on Tuesday when the Warriors entertain Mount Mercy University (2-0) at 7 p.m.

“That’s always a competitive game for us,” Curoe said. “I look for our team to bring the energy back up.”